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Archive for the ‘green’ Category

Women Can and Should Go for the Green (Jobs)

Posted by deborahfrett on May 31, 2011

Throughout the last year, Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation has been connecting women to the emerging green economy by providing access to green job training and resources.  Our goal is to help women of all ages better understand and identify the sustainable jobs of the future, and to align their skills with those particular jobs.  After nearly a century focused on improving women’s access to opportunities in non-traditional occupations, BPW Foundation wants to ensure that women are ready to participate in and contribute to the growing green economy.

Historically, women have been under-represented in the dominant (and high-paying) green sector job fields.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), women only represent 1.7 percent of electricians, 5.5 percent of first-line supervisors/managers of mechanics, installers, and repairers, 5.9 percent of mechanical engineers, and 9 percent of computer and engineering fields.  Instead, women most often choose the following five (significantly lower-paying) occupations: secretaries and administrative assistants, registered nurses, elementary and middle school teachers, cashiers, and nursing, psychiatric and home health aides.  Clearly, women are getting left behind at this intersection.

An important first step in securing green jobs for women has been to raise their awareness that the higher-paying jobs offered by the green economy are within reach of women of all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels.  The green sector encompasses a wide variety of employment fields and industries, and gateway opportunities exist for women with a broad range of education, exposure, and experience.

There are an increasing number of training opportunities for those interested in pursuing green careers.  Through a grant from Walmart Foundation, BPW Foundation recently supported four community-based pilot programs to determine demand and expand specific training and services for women aligned with local green jobs.  BPW Foundation is also partnering with AARP Foundation to expand access and opportunities for mature women to find training, jobs and advance their careers in the green economy.

Educating women about the range of green jobs and training available for green occupations brings us one step closer to ensuring that women have the chance to compete for and succeed in the green economy.  Training and certification can be found at many levels, from high school to and through graduate school. Green training can also be acquired on-the-job—unions and nonprofit organizations, as well as industry associations often sponsor apprenticeships and other programs.  Finally, several training programs are currently funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and are in development by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau.

Through our work and research, BPW Foundation understands that despite the many avenues for education and training, if there are no jobs, these skills offer no benefit. Fortunately, however, that looks like it is about to change for the better! While overall the economy vacillates between recovery and recession, there are major indications that the green economy is growing.

According to a new MoneyTree Report released by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), first quarter 2011 investments in the Clean Technology sector jumped 26% above the fourth quarter of 2010.  The Clean Technology sector, as defined by PWC, crosses traditional industries and comprises alternative energy, pollution, recycling, power supplies, and conservation.  The impressive $1.0 billion invested in Clean Technology places that sector second only to the Software Industry in terms of dollar investment. This month’s employment figures offer further support, even as the nation’s unemployment level rose slightly to 9 percent, there were gains in corresponding Clean Technology industry sectors.

So with the green economy solidly “in the black,” women of all ages need to be poised and ready to “go for it” and capitalize on the opportunities presented by this growing sector.  BPW Foundation can show you the way.  Visit www.bpwfoundation.org/GreenForWomen to learn about successfully navigating a green career pathway.  Go for it!

Posted in Career Advancement, green, Non Traditional Jobs, Sustainability | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

News to Chew On: Link Love for Lunch

Posted by sherrysaunders on December 17, 2010

Green economy needs women leaders [Montgomery News]

Value of Social Security for Women [Physorg.com]

How one VA hospital is gearing up to serve women better [Daily Press]

Sexual assault reports up 64% at military academies [lezgetreal.com]

21 companies with no women in their leadership [Huffington Post]

Women need to be money smart [Forbes Blog]

Women vets sue Pentagon for information on military rape [Courthouse News]

Women more likely to chose mentors in the workplace but less likely to use them [IB Times]

The declining need for men.  Gender and jobs [NY Times Economix]

What Gen Y women want [Christian Science Monitor]

Women more “loyal” to their workplace than men [ILM News]

DOD panel says to let women serve in combat [Airforce Times]

US Failing to meet goals for women’s health [US News]

Increasing women on board of directors British goal [New York Times]

Posted in Feminism, Gen Yner, green, Link Love, Women Veterans | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

News to Chew On: Link Love for Lunch

Posted by sherrysaunders on November 5, 2010

Division of opinion on whether women earn equal pay [Financial Channel]

 Recession blamed for historic down turn in law firm diversity [Law]

Can women take men on in demolition and construction?  [CleanTechies.com]

 Women in their 20s closer to equality in the job market [Daily Emerald]

 Corporate diversity still coming up short for women [HR Compliance]

 A high school coach walks all over Title IX.  [Star Tribune]  

Are we there yet? Women still earn less than men [Boston.com]

Society has yet to adjust to women in the workplace [Workday Minnesota]

More small businesses offering health care [Wall Street Jounal]

How women business owners are held back [Business Week]

Women and workplace flexibility: canaries in the coal mine [Glass Hammer]

The new Momism: what women are bring to politics [New York Times]

 Feminists laud Oprah for banning word “bitch” on her new network [Yahoo News]

 Women donors give more and more often [North Jersey]

Latinas becoming small business owners at high rate [Orlando Sentinel]

Affirmative action may be needed for men [Diversity Education]

Should mom get her own man cave? [Denver Post]

Brazil elects first woman president [Forbes]

5 reasons why women’s progress in management has stalled [Psychology Today]

Paycheck Fairness Act:  More than pocket change is at stake [Huffington Post]

Majority of business do not have plan for developing their women employees [tlnt.com]

 Women still lagging at top US companies [Workplacevisions.com]

Why women live longer [Scientific American]

SBA publishes guide for women small owned business program [Bizjournals.com]

Posted in Diversity, green, Link Love, Small Business | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Creating an Inclusive Green Economy

Posted by egehl on September 16, 2010

The rebuilding process in New Orleans since the 2005 storms is considered ground zero for every major social, economic, educational and environmental challenge facing this country, and how to create innovative solutions.  One of those solutions has undoubtedly been the burgeoning of the green economy and subsequent green jobs that have helped reinvigorate the city’s workforce.

One of the ways the city has addressed its environmental and economic challenges is by creating green jobs through the investment of rebuilding affordable, environmentally friendly homes in the areas most devastated neighborhoods.   Before Hurricane Katrina Louisiana lacked a green jobs sector but the mass destruction of the city’s housing stock opened up a prime opportunity to recreate communities in a more sustainable, energy efficient way. 

A variety of cutting edge non-profits and programs have arisen over the past five years including Brad Pitt’s Make it Right Foundation, which plans to build 150 homes in the Lower Ninth Ward, a low income neighborhood that has been slow to recover in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. 

In addition Global Green is also working to educate New Orleans residents about renewable energy solutions and is building a sustainable village in the Lower Ninth Ward that will consist of 5 single-family homes, an 18-unit apartment building, and a community and climate action center.  By building environmentally conscious homes in low-income neighborhoods it incorporated people traditionally left out of the sustainable conversation, and opened up positive opportunities for them. 

Building these types of homes is just one way we can create jobs while helping the environment at the same time in an innovative and proactive way.  Examples of other activities include making buildings more energy efficient, expanding and improving mass transit, updating the national electric grid, and developing three types of renewable energy sources: wind, solar, and biomass fuels.

A strong green workforce is a viable way to stabilize our nation’s economy and help turn back the soaring unemployment rate.  All of this sounds promising — we clean up the environment, control global warming and create an entirely new sector of employment while we’re at it. 

However any plan for job creation must be inclusive to both men and women especially since women are entering the workforce at a rapid pace.  In fact, recent research states that women now make up half of the workforce and will soon surpass men as layoffs continue to impact men disproportionately.  Therefore all fields must incorporate women to have a robust workforce. 

Often women are disregarded or left out of opportunities to seek “nontraditional” work.  When women enter the workforce they can be stereotyped and automatically pushed toward certain areas of work such as education, social work or nursing.  It is a myth that all women want to engage in only these types of careers.  If given the right tools and education women can thrive in any field. 

Luckily green careers have started to be more inclusive of women. The environmental field used to be only focused on jobs in science and engineering, where women have been historically underrepresented.  But now the view has broadened and we’ve realized that many more careers are undoubtedly connected to the environment such as public health, marine wildlife or global environmental policy. 

Opportunities are popping up for women to go headfirst into environmental careers.  This means that women can pursue new trainings and education to build on their current skill set, or learn an entirely new field. 

However the focus cannot only be on “green collar” jobs that an elite few can fill.  There must also be an emphasis on employment opportunities that can meet the needs of those with a high school education.  However unfortunately segments of the green workforce, such as manufacturing or construction, have historically discriminated against women thus shutting them out of potential opportunities.  This needs to change so that women of any education or experience level can pursue all aspects of the green workforce. 

Women are excited about the potential of green jobs and want an equal opportunity to pursue this line of work.  However there must be assistance available to help women connect the dots between what opportunities exist out there, and how they can reach their goals toward securing a good, green job.  BPW Foundation’s pilot project, Moving from Red to Green: Working Women in the Green Economy, is doing just that. 

This initiative will explore the demand for green jobs for women and determine what programs and services can successfully prepare and link women with the jobs and the companies that will best suit their needs.  The result will be moving women from unemployment, or under-employment, to providing them with access to sustainable job options and the skills and support they need to succeed.  To learn more please visit the BPW Foundation website.

Posted in Career Advancement, Economy, Education, green, STEM, Successful Workplaces, Successful Workplaces Digest | Leave a Comment »

You’re Invited:Where are the Green Jobs for Women?

Posted by gansie on September 10, 2010

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
The United States Studies Program
Where are the Green Jobs for Women?

By all accounts, the “Green Economy” holds out great promise for the United States—not only for the nation’s natural environment but also for its economic climate. Policymakers assert that government investments in green initiatives can produce 20 percent more jobs than traditional economic stimulus measures. Women, however, are not finding as much employment in the green economy as men. Why is this so? The United States Studies Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is planning a conference to explore this question.

Monday, September 13, 2010

1:00 p.m. Introduction
1:15 p.m. National Trends
3:00 p.m. Coffee Break
3:15 p.m. Women’s Pathways to the Green Economy
5:00 p.m. Adjournment
All panels will be held in the 6th Floor Auditorium
This is a free public event, but RSVPs are requested.
Please respond with acceptances only to usstudies@wilsoncenter.org


Panel I: National Trends
Sara Manzano- Diaz, Director of the Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor
Debbie Frett, CEO, Business and Professional Women’s Foundation
Yvonne Liu, Senior Research Associate, The Applied Research Center
Joan Kuriansky, Executive Director, Wider Opportunities for Women
Wanda Ward, Office of the Director, National Science Foundation
Shari Shapiro, lawyer/author, Philadelphia
Panel II: Women’s Pathways to the Green Economy
Camille Cormier, Director of Local Programs and Policy, Wider Opportunities for Women
Michele Parrott, Green Program Coordinator, Women in Non-Traditional Employment Roles
Kit Williams, Project Manager, Green Jobs Pipeline for Women, Alliance for Sustainable Colorado
Tiffany Bluemle, Executive Director, Vermont Works for Women
Virginia Williams,  Senior Director for Green Jobs and Special, Initiatives, ResCare, Inc.

Posted in BPW, Economy, Environment, green, Misbehavin' Notification, Sustainability, Workforce Development/HR | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

From Unemployed to Production Assistant

Posted by gansie on August 19, 2010

Business and Professional Women Foundation’s “Moving from Red to Green: Working Women in the Green Economy” initiative connects women to the emerging green economy by providing green job training. With generous support from the Walmart FoundationBPW Foundation‘s four pilot programs have been awarded $60,000 grants to expand their capacity to train women for green jobs. CLIMB Wyoming is one of the grantees.

Here is how BPW Foundation is supporting women’s involvment in sustainability work.

Adanna is a wonderful representation of the CLIMB Wyoming program, including how the organization is working toward ‘green’ goals.

Thanks to CLIMB, Adanna now works at Pridigicom where she creates electronic proofs for customers (instead of paper-wasting hard copies), utilizes a digital eco-friendly press, recycles and uses green cleaning supplies. She even rides her bike to work. She often spends more than fifty percent of her workday involved in green activities.

Prior to entering the CLIMB program, Adanna was unemployed and struggling to make ends meet. In her new position as production assistant, Adanna makes $12 per hour during a 40-hour work week. Because of her current responsibilities, she is looking forward to the possibility of a future career path in web design for businesses.

Elly Garrett of CLIMB Wyoming’s Teton Area office had this to say about Adanna:
When Adanna first came to our program in January 2010, she identified that recycling was one of her passions.  During our program, she proved to be clever, attentive, and creative team player, one with great attention to detail. These traits have served her well in her job placement with Pridigicom, Inc.
CLIMB helped her overcome barriers and led to her current success in the workplace—- a positive leap toward achieving self-sufficiency and supporting her family.

CLIMB Wyoming is a nationally recognized training model that provides innovative and comprehensive services to economically disadvantaged single mothers and their families.

Working Women in the Green Economy bpwfoundation.org/greenforwomen

Green Success Stories
From Nail Polish to Residential Weatherization
From Jail to Class Leader

Posted in BPW, green, Successful Workplaces, Sustainability | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

From Jail to Class Leader

Posted by gansie on August 5, 2010

Business and Professional Women Foundation’s “Moving from Red to Green: Working Women in the Green Economy” initiative connects women to the emerging green economy by providing green job training. With generous support from the Walmart FoundationBPW Foundation‘s four pilot programs have been awarded $60,000 grants to expand their capacity to train women for green jobs.Women in NonTraditional Employment Roles is one of the grantees.

Here is how BPW Foundation is supporting women’s involvment in sustainability work.

Karen (not her real name) came to Women in NonTraditional Employment Roles (WINTER) in 2006 seeking help after going from job to job hoping to find a meaningful career. She graduated from WINTER and soon after gained employment with Shell Refinery making $19.45/hour.

Unfortunately, Karen suffered from alcoholism and allowed it to impact her performance at work. One day during her lunch break Karen decided to have a beer, thinking that no one would be the wiser. She was wrong.

Karen’s supervisor caught her in the act and she was fired from the refinery, causing a downward spiral into depression and more alcohol. Before she knew it, she was convicted of driving under the influence and was sentenced to jail.

As a condition of her release from jail, Karen was put on probation, ordered to a rehabilitation center, and attended mandatory Alcohol Anonymous meetings weekly. She knew that her conviction along with the court restrictions would make it very difficult to find employment. Moreover, her certifications had expired and she didn’t have money to renew them.

Although Karen remembered WINTER’s unconditional commitment to help women interested in blue collar careers, she was ashamed of her actions and feared that she wouldn’t receive a second chance. Despite her fear, Karen called WINTER and made an appointment to meet with a coordinator.

Karen shared her experience with WINTER and was welcomed back with open arms. She began the WINTERGreen Training Program, a project funded in part by BPW Foundation and Walmart Foundation, on January 11, 2010, almost exactly three years after her previous training.

Karen excelled in training, providing guidance and help to those in need. She earned certifications in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER), Refinery Safety Overview (RSO), CPR/First Aid, Asbestos Worker, Introduction to Green Construction and Lead Worker.

The class voted her as Class Speaker, and this March, Karen stood in front of family members and friends and courageously shared her story with dignity and confidence.

The following week after graduation, Karen visited all of the refineries in the greater Los Angeles area. Every day, she called and visited the refineries, never losing hope and never giving up. And a month later, her perseverance paid off.

Karen was offered a job as a Fire Watch in Los Angeles, which she began early in June at a pay rate of $21 per hour. She has since moved into a sober living home and continues to attend her Alcoholic Anonymous meetings on a regular basis. Karen has pledged to help future WINTER women and has offered to buy work boots for a participant in need.

Karen is proof that women can overcome any obstacle with a little help from caring individuals and WINTER. With initiative, perseverance, hard work, and dedication, anyone can be a success!

The WINTERGreen Program is a social enterprise component of Women In Non Traditional Employment Roles, a non-profit organization dedicated to building a pipeline of diverse, well-qualified women for career opportunities in the environmental remediation and green retrofit fields. WINTERGreen provides certified training and employment to women to green their communities as they learn to perform valuable work and improve their work skills.

Working Women in the Green Economy bpwfoundation.org/greenforwomen

Posted in green, Non Traditional Jobs | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Money Pit Adventures Continue…

Posted by joyinhome on July 29, 2010

The backyard was up next on the list but not until the “tree from hell” was removed.

The Black Walnut tree is gone (cue heavenly music)! I had it removed from the back yard. No more black stains on the sidewalk; no more golf ball-sized dings in my hood; no more slipping on walnuts in the dark and almost breaking my neck; and no more squirrels spitting out the walnut juice (as if chewing tobacco) on my car.

So my grass is still not doing well, despite me watering…it is just so DAMN hot. I am re-thinking if I should have been in such a rush and went with sod. Manuel says he will swap out the affected areas, but still…

Meanwhile the garbage disposer stopped working which renders my sink inoperable. We have been eating out for the last week and I’m over it. My uncle is coming tomorrow to help me replace it.

Good news! On Monday, the replacement will begin for my flat roof; it should take 1-2 days. Ladies, a roof should be replaced every ten years and mine wasn’t new when I bought this house 10.5 years ago. I have been lucky to not have any major problems- not gonna push it any longer. I am upgrading to an energy-efficient roof with ISO insulation made partially with recyclable material. Not only will it extend the life of the roof, but it will lower my future energy costs. And I may get a tax credit…

This home improvement project is a whirlwind event with a million details to remember, but…when it’s done- I will be soooo happy with the results.

P.S. I’ll let you know if I have another contractor to recommend.

Posted in Families, green, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

News to Chew On: Link Love for Lunch

Posted by sherrysaunders on July 23, 2010

Women in the workplace [The Tennessean]

 Women fight more than fire in the NY fire dept [ispnews]

Women should set their political sights on 2012 [Huffington Post]

High heels vs. cowboy boots – CO Republican Senate primary [Politics Daily]

Working class husbands more help than they used to be. [Slate.com]

Elizabeth Warren perfect for the job she created [New York Times]

Women sweep annual Sailor of the Year Award [Washington Post]

Why women shun science careers [Huffington Post]

Retirement income gap yet another challenge for women [Huffington Post]

30 under 30 women entrepreneurs [bnet.com]

Women few and far between in Mississippi politics [Clarion Ledger]

Women gaining in car racing [Equality in Sight]

Are women getting short shift on Late Night? [Time]

Obama to push for pay fairness [USA Today]

Fastest growing jobs for women [Forbes]

How much is beauty worth at work? [Newsweek]

European countries offer more parental leave than US [Yubanet]

Blonds and their husbands earn more [HBR]

In Texas, Girl Power meets Solar Power [KXAN]

The 10 women to watch in politics [Politics Daily]

We should not be satisfied with “smaller” wage gap for younger women [Womenstake]

Dismantling the maternal wall [Washington Post Views]

A hard headed woman making it in the hard hat world [Washington Post]

Posted in Families, Feminism, Financial Security, Gen Yner, green, Link Love, Non Traditional Jobs, STEM | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

If Only What’s Right Won Votes

Posted by gansie on July 23, 2010

Yesterday I attended Center for American Progress’ event, Why the World Needs US Climate Action.

While there I ate a complimentary sandwich that contained avocado (which meant the sandwich had a mighty carbon footprint, trekking from the warm weather climates of California or Mexico to land in between sunflower encrusted multi-grain bread in DC).

I also drank water out of a cup made from corn (the constant growing of corn–and nothing else–on our farms is killing land diversity and making America fat).

While there I tried to ignore those two sins and followed the conversation of international climate change experts and how world leaders, especially the US, needs to get its act together and start enacting policies to combat climate change.

This event took place while Senate Democrats internally debated, counted votes and ultimately bailed out, of putting forth a comprehensive energy bill before the August recess. And before the mid-term elections.

They are now planning on using the lame duck Congress of post November to get anything done. Although maybe without the pressure of elections some Members will have the guts to do what’s needed for the world’s citizens and not just what’s needed for vote getting.

Before this news was released, the room was hopeful. The room was energized. We need people to rally around climate change by any means necessary. Whether people want to tackle climate change because it’s an opportunity to create new jobs (for women or other disadvantaged populations) or simply because it’s the right thing to do, there needs to be action, well, yesterday.

Because as so many have said (and I’m looking at you, candidate Obama), it is our moral obligation to give the future a livable planet.

photo credit

Posted in Environment, green, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »